Ever since the sixth month affair that was our castle stay, I’d been wondering how to top / equal it for a long time coming. Call it love or call it competitiveness, but when White Sails and I decided to collaborate on a surprise yacht birthday party for Shane, part of me went ha! Your turn, bro. Game on. Either way, a secret part of me hopes this will evolve into an everlasting loop of one upping each other which you and I both know will be good news for my instagram feed, if not my pocket.
But wait, Jemma, you say, how does a yacht party one-up a weekend in a castle? For one, I’ve spent months touring Europe with Shane who seems to make it a point to yell at each boat we see as if it has personally offended him by not belonging to him. Stop being embarrassing, I’ll say, and he’ll look at me and go But i want a boat as if that is justification enough for lusting after another man’s property. (Oh well. Could be someone else’s wife.) Also, after everything was planned and confirmed for the party two months ago in secret, I casually brought up the notion of having a yacht party to him while sailing in Italy. Jem, he said, staring intently at me, if you throw me a yacht party one day I’ll buy you a penthouse. So, castle vs yacht or whatever, I still win. Somebody needs to teach that boy risk management.
I digress! Back to the proper story. I’d already set things up with White Sails but getting Shane to actually be at the harbor when he had school he insisted on attending that day was no mean feat. I left it to his boy gang to get him there but trust me when I say it took nothing less than a made up emergency to convince him to skip school and come down. Up till the point where they walked up to the yatch where we were at and burst into birthday song, he still didn’t get what was going on.
Look at that face of confusion.
Later he told me he honestly didn’t get it even while walking towards where the yatch was docked. He caught sight of me and thought I had to be attending some event which was coincidentally in the area or something. Even though I was holding a birthday cake and grinning at him. I dont even know how to feel about dating someone with that level of naivety, but I suppose it could pass as cute..
In any case, with everyone safely on board including the birthday boy, we set sail for Lazarus Island! Honestly, the worst that could happen did – it started pouring halfway into the boat ride. On the plus side, the yatch was insanely comfortable, being air conditioned (thanks White Sails, you’re a yatch charter after my own heart), and no one seemed to mind since we had food and cameras indoors.. the rain let up about half an hour after we reached Lazarus Island, and everyone started to go around either exploring the beaches or doing water activities like kayaking. Me, on the other hand, I just ran around feeding bits of my sandwich to the cats that populated the island. It was delightful.
You see what I mean.
In any case, it was uh-mazing. Maybe I’m just saying that because it’s the first surprise yacht party I’ve ever successfully pulled off, but hey. Do I get best girlfriend award yet? Still, it wouldn’t have been possible without the extreme generosity of so many parties..
First off – Paris trained patisserie Natalie Eng for creating this gorgeous piece of art. Because that’s what it is, a work of art. I think to refer to it as a cake would be to do it gross injustice.
This creation consists a treat of jivara-manjari ganache montée, hazelnut cremeux, passionfruit jelly, chocolate joconde and chocolate fleur de sel sablé pressée. I wont even pretend I know what all that means, but she handed it to me with a wink and went It’s supposed to taste like nutella, and I made the color as manly as possible. It broke my heart, having to pierce it with candles and slice it up for serving. Ugh! Cakes like these should be immortalized in display cabinets. On the other hand, it was delicious as it was beautiful, so I guess that worked out well for everyone involved..
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for orders and enquiries 🙂 More of her gorgeous food photography at her online portfolio here, and I’m immensely thankful for + blown away by her crazy talent and generosity! If nothing else, you should definitely check her out on instagram at http://instagram.com/engnatalie because it’s enough to induce an insane urge to take up baking if only for the beautiful photos it yields.
Print A Party, for the most memorable party keepsakes ever! I figured there was no better way to have all the guests bring back a piece of the party than literally providing little customized instax prints, and Print A Party was perfect – from coming on board (literally, ha ha ha, Ive made this joke way too many times..) to working the instagram printbooth on the day itself while the party was ongoing. And yes, those are mini-Shanes decorating the prints, the graphics were done by our extremely talented Martin and Warren, personal friends and entirely too talented artists. Print a Party does, however, also offer a the option of having their own graphic designer do up your instax borders for you, and I love that they are literally the exact size of an instax print, which makes it so easy to stick in your diary or wallet. I’m never going to have another party without an instagram photo printing booth because this was such a hit!
For your own party – you can find Print a Party on printaparty.sg or their facebook page 🙂 They even give you a little link after the event with a social media analytic report of your event (probably more relevant for bigger events like weddings or corporate parties) and a gallery of all images uploaded with your custom hashtag and printed!
Cepheus from Unique Colors Creative Media for being the official photographer of the day. The pictures were all I could have asked for and more. I’ve worked with Unique Colors for a long time now, and they always deliver perfectly on the photo front, but this is the first time I’ve needed any event photography and they were so wonderful. The photos turned out so beautiful, and I know for a fact that they’re well taken because I don’t look like absolute nonsense despite being all tired out from running around setting up the surprise and having no time to do my hair or make up properly. It sounds like such a trivial concern, but when you can rely on your photographer to make you look good even in less than optimal conditions, you know you’ve got a good one. Besides, don’t the photos speak for themselves? 🙂
And finally, none of this would have been remotely possible without White Sails Singapore for providing the amazing Clipper Heritage Yacht for the party! They do a variety of charter options, from sunset cruises to overnight stays, but we went for the Lazarus Island afternoon trip where we basically sailed to Lazarus Island and docked there for an afternoon, exploring the island from there. It’s no exaggeration to say they think of everything – there’s even snorkeling and kayaking equipment on board if you’re keen on trying water sports.
Or, if you can’t swim/ are scared of the water, there’s always the fallback activity of phototaking..
Seriously though. A yacht party is awesome on so many levels. Not only is it immediately impressive, because Hey, just casually hanging out in my birthday yacht, it also takes you places (haha! I have got to stop with the puns) and is a perfect prop for phototaking. Lets not even mention the impromptu OOTD photo diary I shot for EGP a few posts ago. Yachts automatically call to mind harbors, docks, the sea, and beaches, which are all obviously highly photogenic. And if you didn’t document a party in pictures, did it really happen?
At the end of it all, I was exhausted, spent, and all other synonyms you can call to mind, but the one thing I was overwhelmingly was grateful. I could never have pulled this off without the help of so many people – Natalie Eng, Print a Party, White Sails, Cepheus, and most of all, Shane’s friends, who brought the most important element to the party – good company and laughter.
Happy birthday, Shane. So very many people love you, and love is always something we must give thanks for. x